Background: Efforts to increase mammographic screening for early detection of breast cancer among women of lower socioeconomic class and ethnic minorities have been largely unsuccessful. This study explores the receptivity of hospitalized women to inpatient mammography as a novel approach to enhance breast cancer screening. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 210 hospitalized women, aged 50-75 years, admitted to the medicine services at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in early 2012. Unpaired t-test and Chi-square tests were used to compare characteristics, barriers, and receptivity to inpatient mammography among women adherent and non-adherent to screening guidelines. Results: One-third of women enrolled were African American, and 60% of study participants reported an annual household income of <$20,000. Thirty-nine percent were overdue for screening, of which, 13% never had a mammogram and 28% were at high risk for breast cancer (Gail score ≥1.7%). The commonly reported barriers to screening mammograms were failure to remember appointments and lack of transportation. Most women (91%) believed that it is important for healthcare providers to discuss breast cancer screening while patients are in the hospital. Sixty-eight percent of non-adherent women would agree to have an inpatient screening mammogram if it was due and offered. Conclusions: A significant number of hospitalized women from lower socioeconomic class are at high risk of developing breast cancer and non-adherent to mammographic screening. Inpatient hospital stay may be a feasible time for screening and education to ensure adequate breast care and promote screening among these women.
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